The Return to High School Gym Class.

The internet world never ceases to amaze (and confuse) me. It has so many… idiosyncrasies. The little traits and aspects that I can’t seem to understand, yet I find myself swimming knee-deep in them.

With millions of blogs scattered worldwide, some days you feel like a needle in a haystack desperate to get your words out there. When these feelings arise for me, I typically research how I can grow my reader base and make my readers’ experience more worthwhile.

The number one piece of advice out there on this subject? Become and stay an active reader on other blogs. The more you start conversations with bloggers, the more likely they will stop by your blog and interact as well.Elf GIF Liar / From TheSirensTale.com

I call liar pants on fire. This approach has created the largest game of tag that ever existed, putting all of our high school gym classes to shame. This time around, there is no running or sweating involved; you play this game of tag all from the comfort of your computer chair. Bloggers are frantically darting from one blog to another in hopes of making a new connection, when in reality they’ll probably just be smacked on the head while someone yells over their shoulder, “You’re out, loser!”

There are four categories of bloggers that result from this big game of tag, much like the categories of people you experienced in high school gym class. You read their blog post, comment or like it, and then tag, they’re it!

You Can't Win / From TheSirensTale.com / Credit to izquotes.com

The Elite (aka: The Popular Kids): These tend to be large, sponsored blogs that humbly mention they receive 500,000+ views per millisecond. These bloggers were the cool kids in high school who casually laughed at your frantic attempts in tag, while they sat back and filed their nails. The group you so desperately compliment and engage with, and you get squat back. You’re left hoping that their generic ‘I love all my readers’ blog bit was secretly referenced for you personally. But it wasn’t. Let’s face it: probably never will be.

The Notorious Liker (aka: The Stoner Crowd): These bloggers ‘like’ everything. If you leave a five-page response to their blog post, don’t expect a response. Expect your notification alarm to buzz rapidly. Surprise! They’ve ventured all the way to your blog, read an entire entry, and liked it all within 40 seconds. It’s quite the accomplishment. Much like the stoner crowd in gym class, these bloggers don’t want to engage with you, but they also would never hurt your feelings by not returning your kind gesture. It’s all cool, man. Really.

The One Liners (aka: The Jocks): Now, I’ll give it to this group of bloggers. They at least make an effort in this game of tag. They come all the way to your page, click on a random post, and then leave a one word response. It doesn’t matter that you spent four hours writing your post, editing it, and selecting the perfect photographic accoutrements, you are simply going to get a “Nice!” Don’t take it personally. Just remember in high school, cheerleaders would spend weeks on their school pride posters just to hear a grunt from the jocks. They managed it for four years, you can do it sporadically through your week. (Wo)Man up.

The Lovelies (aka: Your Crowd): These bloggers barely need a nudge before they have submersed themselves in your content, providing heart-warming responses that remind you why you write and blog in the first place. In other words, these bloggers are your chess club, theater group, or art crew that you happily stayed on the sidelines with during gym class. It doesn’t matter how quirky you are, if you’ve made the cut, you’re in fully. They make every ignored comment, mysterious like, and one word response wash away as you’re reminded you don’t suck (entirely).

Go Home / From TheSirensTale.com

How do you interact with your readers?
What are your blogging pet peeves?

43 responses to “The Return to High School Gym Class.

  1. One of each…lol

    Love and hugs…ME and the Boss

  2. It depends. If I really have something to say about the post, I’ll usually say it. Sometimes, I want to say something, but I don’t know what, so I’ll leave a generic “nice.” And other times, I just give a Like to just acknowledge that the author did indeed write something and I have read it.

    So I guess I fall into just about every category. Except the cool kids. I ain’t there yet.

  3. prosewithabbitude

    Appropriate and great analogy! A pleasant surprise from what I expected based on title.

  4. Great post. Very clever, I must admit being new to blogging its hard to know what the right etiquette is . Sometimes you really like something but feel like if you do make a comment it has to be something really profound, so simply hitting the like button is the much easier option.

  5. Nice!
    —-
    —-
    —-
    Oh wait…I have more. I love this! Perfectly describes the different types of bloggers/readers. And I certainly have all of them. I actually gave up commenting on ‘The Elite’ quite awhile ago. I have a big problem with that group actually. (Which is not surprising since I had a big problem with them in high school too). Too big for your britches and now you can’t respond to a comment — especially frustrating when I have commented to ask a question about a process in their precious recipe. No more. Now I just don’t use their recipe or completely overhaul it and make it better. 😉 So there cool kids! Take that! (she says with not an ounce of bitterness in her voice).
    Kenley

    • So glad to hear I’m not alone with issues from the Elite 🙂 I didn’t get along with them in high school and I stay ignored by this group to this day. It’s really disappointing though… especially with younger bloggers. The other day I saw a blog post from a young-20-something talking about one of the Elite bloggers. She referenced how she visits daily, comments, and makes comments on the blogger’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The young blogger started saying how she’d “just die” if so-and-so ever responded to her. And my heart sank right there. It’s a blogger. A normal person just sharing something with the world, and there are people looking up to them all the while being completely ignored. I understand when a blog post gets 100+ comments you can’t really respond to every single one when you update your blog 2-3 times a day. But at least throw some people a bone! Especially if someone comments daily or is asking a simple question.

      Let me shake the bitterness out of my britches now, haha.

      • Haha! I completely agree! These elite bloggers started out just like any of us. They are not superhuman. They are not Martha Stewart — which in fact they should take as a good thing since Martha has denounced bloggers as “non experts” who murk up the waters for the industry. And P.S. Martha started off as a “nobody” once upon a time as well. We all should be thankful of the support and comments we are given, regardless of where we are on the “blogging food chain”. High School was rough enough as it is… who needs more of it!

        –Stepping off Soap Box gently, calmly, and breathing deep breaths.

        • Oh my goodness, I’m roaring with laughter! The best part of the elite bloggers is that most of them are sponsored by Martha Stewart, yet she turns her nose up at bloggers! That would be the day I’d accept money from someone who doesn’t support what I really do. Oh, I could just go on for days! Haha.

  6. Completely agree with what you wrote here. I used to ascribe to the belief that you had to subscribe to a lot of blogs and stay active on their blogs so that those bloggers would reciprocate, but that happening isn’t very likely. Readers who read and comment on my blog are readers who want to read and comment on my blog and those are the readers I want to keep.

    Great blog post!

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. Those who want to read will; those who want to comment will. Pretty straight forward. I read almost 200 blogs regularly (it’s a problem, I know) and comment regularly. Not in hopes they’ll stop by here, but just to let them know their work is appreciated.

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. You know Caitlin, when I first started blogging I didn’t know anything about all the commenting, blogland etiquette, visiting, linking etc…you are right it is like playing tag! You can tell who is sincere and who isn’t mostly. My favorite comments are the ones that say, I hope you’ll visit me back! Lately I have been feeling frustrated and stressed about blogging, not working on my blog, but all the visiting and commenting. I am going back to the innocence I started with, reading the blogs I am interested in and having real conversations. I know a blogger who recently disabled her comments form, I think she got tired of feeling that she had to reciprocate, she is blogging just for her own joy of photographing and writing. I miss chatting with her but I get it! Thank you for your voice of honesty, I really appreciate it, I am going back to the simple life! who needs more pressure! By the way, I have enjoyed your blog every time I’ve read it, so I will be back often, not for any reason except that I want to 🙂
    Jenna

    • The world etiquette of blogging can be just too much! How can I worry about “branding” myself when I have a million other responsibilities and real life concerns? It’s almost comical. The other day I stumbled across a blog offering blog consultation where they designed your website for you and helped you “create a brand”… all starting at the low price of $3,000 USD. Are you kidding me?! My oh my.. I’m with you. I like the simpler times of blogging. I read blogs I enjoy – simply put. Thank you for your kind words about your experience here at The Siren’s Tale 🙂 I love the Painted Apron, which is exactly why I always come back!

  8. Caitlin…. ok I guess I blogg in a different way then those listed… I am the weirdo girl in school with a note book and pen drawing, writeing and at no point did I ever share my thoughts or ideas outside my group…. a combo of art,nerd, stoners…. I use blogging as a tool to journal… My site is my journal, I write for myself and my family and if I am lucky some one wonderful like you,….no brand,….no hope of ever reaching millions,…. just a moment in my life, that I share with like minded people….I never really wanted to be that popular…. and if some one likes us… our group that is, then thats fine… and if not are we really losing anything? I just keep adding my voice to the world and keep finding great people who read because they like to and writing because they need to …. love your blog by the way and will keep tuning in when I can!

    • Love your perspective, Jolynn! I’m with you – in high school I was very much a longer. Part chorus girl, part nerd, part bully magnet – I mainly did my own thing. That’s exactly how I am in blogging too. I write about living positively and holistically, and I just hope that along the way I meet some new bloggers and encourage some people looking for words. We don’t lose anything when we don’t ‘gain’ readers/sponsors/popularity. So important to remember 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog! Every time I go visit your blog, I start singing John Denver 🙂

      • Yea that was the idea! but so far I think you are the only one to get it… funny part is I was born and raised in Colorado… so I am surrounded by either Rockie Mountain High or Country Roads…. so fun blogging with you!

  9. Well, now that you’ve guilted me into leaving a full and complete response … 😀 I find it absolutely hilarious when I put out a new post, and within 10 seconds someone has liked it. Which leads me to two possible conclusions — 1) They didn’t read it, or 2) They decided they liked the post before they even read it (because I wrote it, because of the topic, because of the image, etc.), and then proceeded to read it having already liked the page. I have a feeling it generally trends more toward #1, but … I’m cool with that. It’s nice to be acknowledged, even if it wasn’t quite the interaction I was hoping for!

  10. I love this post! I admit to being someone who frantically left all kinds of comments when I first discovered book blogs but I have mellowed out through the years. Now, I’m more selective and try to be more thoughtful in my commenting. I never was and never will be one of the popular kids – it takes way too much work.

  11. I love this. I have to say it really annoys me when people ‘like’ my post or follow my blog when it’s obvious they do not actually read it and are just trying to drum up traffic for their own. I appreciate from the bottom of my heart when people actually read and enjoy my blog, and I’d much rather have a small group of people like that (which is good, because it is small) than more likes from people who haven’t and never intend to read my work. Likewise, I only comment on/follow/’like’ blogs that I actually, you know, LIKE.

    • Haha, imagine that – only liking something you enjoy. That’s crazy! 😛

      Just like my Mom told me when I was a child… it’s better to have one great friend than a large group of fair-weather friends. I agree with you – I’d much rather have a smaller group of readers that actually read and enjoy, then 600,000 viewers per millisecond that are just linking their own blog on mine.

  12. Haha. This is increadibly accurate! I often find myself frustrated with the “stoners, jocks, and popular kids” in the blogging world. I’m so thankful that “our crowd” exists to truly make blogging worthwhile. 😉 You’re a genius. 🙂

    • Hi Susannah! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂 Some days it’s hard to not feel “left out” of some secret inner blogging circle, but then I remember my lovelies – readers like you that make it all worth it!

      I’m heading over to your blog now, it sounds right up my alley!

  13. I will forever be the lovely, and what a nice name! Somethings just never change. I was in yearbook, tall flags, art and photography and tried out one time for girls softball in middle school (what was I even thinking??/) of course I didn’t make the team that should pretty much says it all. Love your friend Tracie

    • Tracie, I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it a million times before: I. Adore. Your. Comments! You always bring a smile to my face with your kindness and insight 🙂

      I played catcher in a softball league when I was in elementary school. Let’s just say, I quickly realized I didn’t have the balance or interest for it {I can’t count how many times I was almost smashed in the face with the bat because I was daydreaming}. Art and photography are much better interests 🙂 Your photography always inspires me. You are so good at catching the best moments of days.

  14. I love it. Great analogy!

    Connie

  15. I’m cracking up over the Elf gif here. I think the advice to comment and interact is well-intentioned–make new friends! get supportive feedback! help others grow their presence!–but you’re right that it needs to be tempered with “but hey, response rate will vary.” Thankfully in life and in blogland I got over trying to be cool awhile ago. Telling my real-life friends about my blog and openly talking about it with them has shown me that it’s primarily bloggers who comment, but often real-life friends and other folks are reading and enjoying all the same.

    Finding that lovely crowd, whether it’s one person or twenty people, is such a beautiful reward of blogging!

    • Hi Alicia! I previously responded to your comment, but my mobile must not have sent it through. So sorry about that!

      I couldn’t agree with you more… it’s all about meeting new people and making new friends {not matter what distance lies between you}. And there are so many ‘silent’ readers out there that follow along and we never know they’re even there. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  16. hahaha! Gotta hate than endless cycle of tag that likely doesn’t go anywhere…but it’s all worth it to find “The Lovelies” and sift them from all the rest!

  17. Pingback: {2013} Year in Review. | The Siren's Tale

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